The Future of Smartwatches
In recent months, several tech companies all over the world have been pushing for more devices with Internet connectivity in the form of smartwatches. However, despite the innovation that this new breed of watches present, not everyone was sold on the idea of them becoming the next big thing. Tech insiders aren’t convinced just yet that smartwatches can enjoy the same success that Nokia mobile phones first had in the late 90s.
Benedict Evans, a research specialist from Enders Analysis, said that smartwatches can be compared to the early-model mp3s that came out before the iPod became a phenomenon.
“In the same way lots of digital music players existed before the Apple iPod, they just weren’t good enough,” said Evans. “They didn’t do what the iPod did and revolutionize the sector. The iPod of smartwatches is needed to really turn the smartwatch category into something useful.”
The current technology of smartwatches today is very limited. It can only do what smartphones can already do. Smartwatches can read emails, answer calls, and synchronize with a smartphone, but that’s it. Simply put, smartwatches are merely glorified keyboards that people don’t really need in their life just yet. It’s an accessory that people can live without, compared to smartphones that became vital in every person’s life.
Current Smartwatch Features
Sony is one of the first tech firms that came up with its own version of a smartwatch. The company, despite enjoying little success with its Sony Smartwatch 1, released a newer version of its smartwatch line last year that’s aptly called the “Sony Smartwatch 2.” Despite the upgrade, however, Sony’s new super watch didn’t carry with it a lot of upgrades. It only came with water-resistant parts, and a bigger screen size. Sony’s Smartwatch line failed to be popular for two things: First, it is a very redundant piece of electronic gadget and second, it lacks the elegance of a traditional digital watch.
Samsung wasn’t very successful with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch either for obvious reasons. Its features are very much similar to the Sony Smartwatch, only with a heftier price tag and strict exclusivity rights. The Galaxy Gear costs $485 (Sony’s Smartwatch is at $250), and it can only be linked to Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Sony’s Smartwatch, on the other hand, can be linked to any Android device. $485 dollars is already more than half of the cost of the all new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which, according to O2’s page, has revolutionary features including a lightning-fast charging time element of just 60 minutes, and a fingerprint scanning software.
On the right track
Despite the current trend of how smartwatches are made today, there is hope for their future development. Google is raising the bar for smartwatches by developing its very own line of digital timepieces equipped with useful features.
Dubbed unofficially as the Google Gem, The Guardian reports that it will run on a program that is able to learn a person’s habits and hobbies automatically. Imagine having a personal assistant that can attend to your whims 24/7.
For example, when Google Gem discovers that a person starts commuting to work at around 7 AM every day, the smartwatch will alert the user of the best routes that he or she can take to work before 7 AM. When a person travels abroad, Google Gem will point the person to the nearest money changer. It will also tell the user where the nearest restaurants are at lunch time. When Google Gem discovers that the user is a big fan of a certain celebrity, the device will show news about that celebrity from time to time. All of these will be done by the Gem even without assistance from the user.
Now that is smart.
If Google can indeed integrate these features in Gem, then it’s highly possible that consumers will see smartwatches as an integral part of life. Google’s on the right track and hopefully, other companies will follow suit.
Jennifer Birch is a gadget and game geek. She writes and talks about all things related to MOBAs, TCGs, and MMORPGs. She is often seen reading eBooks or playing Call of Duty during her spare time. Talk to her on Twitter and Google+.